Brown Bag Webinar: Looking Upstream: An Upper Basin Perspective






Moderated by Jennifer Gimbel
Interim Director and Senior Water Policy Scholar, Colorado Water Center
Steve Wolff
General Manager, Southwestern Water Conservation District
Jim Lochhead
CEO/Manager, Denver Water

Brought to you by the WRRC and the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University, this panel will focus on an Upper Basin perspective of current Colorado River issues. The Upper Basin does not have the luxury of pulling water out of reservoirs to supply its water users. Climate change and the prior appropriation system control water uses and naturally limit water use. Panelists will discuss the Upper Basin Drought Contingency Plan and the methods being used to efficiently use water from the Colorado River.

Jennifer Gimbel is the Interim Director and Senior Water Policy Scholar at the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University. She has had the opportunity to work for both federal and state governments on numerous water issues. She formerly held the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior. As the former Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Ms. Gimbel served as Colorado’s representative on the Upper Colorado River Commission and as the Governor’s representative in Colorado River negotiations. She also held several positions in the Attorney Generals’ offices in Colorado and Wyoming.

Steve Wolff became General Manager of the Southwestern Water Conservation District in June 2021. The District is comprised of nine counties covering southwest Colorado. The District’s statutory authority is to protect, conserve, use and develop the water resources of the Southwestern basin for the welfare of the District, and safeguard for Colorado all waters of the basin to which the state is entitled. Prior to this position, Steve served as the Interstate Streams Division Administrator in the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office. The Interstate Streams Division provides primary oversight for Wyoming’s rights and responsibilities relative to the seven interstate water compacts and three interstate water decrees to which the state is a signatory. 

Jim Lochhead was appointed Denver Water’s CEO/Manager in 2010. Lochhead provides leadership to the nearly 1,100 employees at Denver Water and oversees the work necessary to provide an adequate water supply to 1.5 million customers in the City of Denver and surrounding areas. Prior to his appointment at Denver Water, Mr. Lochhead was in private law practice, dealing with natural resource issues throughout the United States and internationally. He was also Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Lochhead was the Colorado governor’s representative on interstate Colorado River operations from 1990-2002. In 2014, Lochhead was awarded the Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” award by the Colorado Water Congress, and in 2015 he received the President’s Award from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. 

Sources/Usage: Public Domain.